I'm working on a non-medical project. Its only relationship to COVID is that I'm at home now and have more time to devote to it.

For this project, I need to use scalpels. Because I'm only cutting inanimate objects, I use non-sterile ones like these. They're identical to sterile scalpels used in surgery, except for the fact that they're not sterile.

I know there's a shortage of certain types of medical equipment now, particularly masks and ventilators. I haven't heard of any surgery associated with COVID, but I wanted to check first: is there any risk of running out of scalpels? If there's a possibility that hospitals will need to buy and sterilize non-sterile scalpels for use in surgery, I definitely don't want to contribute to a shortage.

Is it ok to buy non-sterile scalpels to use for a non-medical project, or do I risk contributing to a potential shortage of scalpels needed for urgent medical purposes?

  • You deleted my comment answer yet are doing this yourself! Commented Mar 29, 2020 at 19:39
  • @GrahamChiu Yeah, you're right. My bad.
    – Carey Gregory
    Commented Mar 29, 2020 at 21:23

1 Answer 1


Unless you are buying in huge quantities, the likelihood to cause a shortage of any kind of medical equipment is probably low.

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